Your Home: A Lighthouse
by Twyla Pellegrino
Years ago, my mother and I decided to host a 5-Day Club® for the neighborhood children. We didn’t know the kids, but I began handing out invitations door-to-door. A child from the third home I visited joined me and told me which houses had children. Twelve children attended the club in our backyard on Monday evening; by Friday, we had 27 kids. Several children put their trust in Jesus as Savior.
That December, we hosted a Christmas outreach party. More kids helped distribute invitations. They learned the reason we celebrate. I think three children trusted Jesus that Saturday afternoon.
The Christmas party turned into a weekly Good News Club®. I would teach a Bible lesson, memory verse, and lead songs and games each week. Mom would hand out snacks and sit with the kids. Due to mom’s poor health and frequent hospitalizations, we only had that club for one semester.
The impact went beyond that, though. Mom would sit outside on our tiny front porch most afternoons, health and weather permitting. After work, I’d pull into the driveway and find bicycles in our front yard and anywhere from one to five kids sitting on the porch chatting about their days. They’d also ask big and small questions about life and God. Mom had the privilege of building into those kids’ lives for the next few years—until the Lord called her home.
The simple act of opening our home to kids and hosting a Bible club opened up so many doors for ministry. Because of home-based clubs, I’ve ministered to not just boys and girls, but to their parents and grandparents. I’ve provided rides for kids attending church for the first time. I’ve wept and prayed with moms for children who have gotten lost or run away. I’ve had the blessing of sharing the Gospel with parents who have seen a difference in their child’s life because of Good News Club.
In recent years, much of CEF’s ministry has focused on reaching children in public schools and community centers. This change mirrored the shift in our communities. Many children are in aftercare programs as more parents are at work in the hours after school. Neighborhoods have changed; fewer neighbors know one another beyond exchanging pleasantries.
We’ve seen another shift, though, since 2020. More parents are at home. People spend more time in their neighborhoods, taking walks instead of visiting the gym, Many are re-evaluating busy schedules.
Perhaps it’s time to consider how your home can be a beacon of light in your neighborhood. CEF can help you start a ministry to boys and girls in your own home. Whether it’s a 5-Day Club in the summer, a party to celebrate a Christmas, Easter, or any other season, or a weekly Good News Club during the school year, you can reach out to the kids in your neighborhood and their families.
There are many benefits to a home-based outreach:
Flexibility: You choose a schedule that works for you and your neighborhood. Plan your club time for afternoons, evenings, or even weekends. Typically, a school building is only available for 90 minutes immediately after school, but your home can be open any time you choose.
Build relationships: We encourage Good News Club hosts to invite ALL the children in their neighborhood or from whatever group you invite (e.g., all the 4th graders in your child’s class, etc.), including kids from all kinds of families and homes. You’ll have an opportunity to show God’s love to all the kids, learn about their families, get to know their parents, and minister to them.
Reinforce Bible teaching: As you use CEF’s Bible-based, interactive, and practical curriculum, Christian kids will benefit from another hour of instruction. Kids who do not yet know Jesus will have an opportunity to learn about Jesus, the Bible, and the God who wants to make them part of His forever family—many for the first time.
Reaching kids and their families with the Gospel can be as simple as opening your home and extending an invitation.
CEF provides training, curriculum support, background checks, and help getting started. Contact the office or see this article for more information and learn how to get started.